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How the Ulster players rated during Champions Cup victory over Leicester Tigers

Ulster's John Cooney celebrates at the final whistle.
Ulster's John Cooney celebrates at the final whistle.

Ratings by Michael Sadlier

Ulster rubber-stamped their own spot in Europe's last eight on Saturday with a comeback victory over Leicester Tigers at Welford Road. But who led the charge to success?

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Michael Sadlier cast his eye over the Ulster players as they roared back from 13-0 down to secure a single-point victory.

Here are this week's match ratings:

Starting XV

Louis Ludik 7: He may have been missing for Toomua's try and took some punishment in the tackle zone but he was there to be reliable and he largely delivered.

Robert Baloucoune 8: That tackle on Bateman will be remembered but then so will the try and ensuring the conversion. Two tries in two games. Pretty decent. 

Will Addison 8: Midfield was tricky defensively, but he still pulled off some high profile tackles. As usual, was always looking to attack and made 12 carries.

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Ulster's Will Addison poses for a selfie with a fan after the game.

Stuart McCloskey 6: Strong when he had the ball in his hands, the plan was to launch him at Ford when possible and to try and keep the Tigers centres relatively quiet.

Jacob Stockdale 7: Ford was fixated with kicking at him which mostly didn’t reap reward. Okay, he failed to score but looked dangerous. Missed some tackles though.

Billy Burns 8: Had to deal with a lot of traffic defensively, and after one cross-kick didn’t come off, his chip for Baloucoune’s try was the game-changer.

Dave Shanahan 6: Starting ahead of Cooney was unexpected, but he used his speedy pass to good effect. Hardly his fault Ulster struggled during his time.

Eric O’Sullivan 5: The scrum had issues in that first half and Dan Cole gave him a stern examination which may have prompted him being called ashore.

Rory Best 7: Sorry, but you can’t ignore the lineouts. But then there was his influence in other areas. Ulster’s top tackler with 14, also won a crucial late penalty.

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Ulster's Rory Best celebrates after the game with his son Ben.

Marty Moore 6: It looked as if it might be a horror show but he did manage to steady things with a big tackle count and he also rumbled over for the first try.

Iain Henderson 8: Lacking match fitness, he actually got better the longer it went on. Lots of important carries and made 12 tackles. Won man of the match too.

Kieran Treadwell 6: Not as hi-vis as Henderson, he put in some good tackles and carries. Also secured the lineout ahead of Moore's try off a rolling maul.

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Ulster's Kieran Treadwell helped set up Marty Moore's try.

Sean Reidy 7: Was annoyed to have had a knock-on called against him. Put in a big workload and was top carrier with 13 before leaving with a knock.

Jordi Murphy 6: He was there to support Best for that late turnover penalty. Another Ulster player who improved as the game evolved.

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Ulster's Jacob Stockdale and Jordi Murphy celebrate reaching the European quarter-finals.

Marcell Coetzee 4: Ulster needed his ball-carrying but they lost him early to injury. He had lost the ball after one strong carry which wasn't part of the plan.

Replacements

Nick Timoney (Coetzee 35) 5: Quite a few tackles but not that visible

John Cooney (Shanahan 49) 7: What an impact and one super touchline conversion

Andy Warwick (O’Sullivan 49) 7: Did well with primary job along with carries and tackles

Alan O’Connor (Treadwell 64) 6: Brought on to graft

Rob Herring (Reidy 64) 7: Covered as flanker, meaning Best had to do 80 minutes

Michael Lowry (Burns 69) 6: Came on to see out the game and did so

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Ulster's Michael Lowry and Billy Burns celebrate after the game.

Ross Kane (Moore 76) 5: Just a few minutes to seal the deal

Not used: Darren Cave

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